The focal point of D-III women’s hockey this weekend will be the home-and-home series between RIT and Elmira.
RIT hosts round one tonight at the Frank Ritter Memorial Arena, while Elmira hosts tomorrow at the Murray Athletic Center in Pine Valley. N.Y.
Elmira comes into the series needing just one win to put itself in the driver’s seat to take the crown, while on the other hand, RIT needs to take all four points in order to in essence clinch its second straight ECAC West regular season crown.
Last year, RIT swept the season series from Elmira. However, in the eight meetings prior, Elmira was 5-1-2 against the Tigers. The Soaring Eagles will need to get back to their winning ways if they want to avoid finishing third for the second straight year.
RIT has missed two key forwards lately in Kolbee McCrea and Celeste Brown. Having them back in the lineup would certainly bolster their offense and their chances to take multiple points this weekend.
Elmira has quietly stayed under the radar all season after last year was one of the most disappointing they have had in program history. Two or more points this weekend could change all that in a heartbeat, as Elmira would have the inside track to the regular season title pending a sweep of all four points next weekend against Oswego.
My gut says we’re going to see a split this weekend, which would work in favor of Elmira. Goaltending and special teams as always will be the key when teams of this caliber get together. I’ll take each team winning its respective home game. RIT 3-1 tonight and then Elmira 2-1 Saturday night.